Letterkenny furloughs could have ripple effect on midstate economy

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Mar 15, 2013 1:25 PM

(Chambersburg) -- Thousands of workers at Letterkenny Army Depot are set to see their pay cut by 20 percent under sequestration.

About 4,300 government employees, conractors and other workers count on paychecks from the depot in Franklin County.

The federal spending cuts that began March 1 mean workers will be furloughed for 22 days between April 21 and the end of September.

Franklin County Area Development Corporation President Michael Ross says the lost money in their paychecks will be felt by other businesses.

"It's hard to quantify, but in talking to some of the restauranteurs and car dealers and so on, they're starting to see folks kind of pulling their resources," Ross says.

Ross says his organization is working with other businesses to spur hiring in the region, but adds those efforts take time and will probably not blunt the impact of sequester cuts at Letterkenny.

He says the effects of the accross-the-board spending cuts are likely to get worse with time and could also have an effect on defense readiness.

Depot employees are being offered personal financial counseling sessions where they can come up with plans on how to deal with the pay cut.

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